Well, I have several goals in mind that I set for myself this year...Of course there are the usual goals for Bible study, reading lists, homeschooling, etc. But this year I really and truly want to be a blessing to my husband.
I am in charge of a certain amount of money every month, out of which I usually pay the electric bill, the cable/internet, the cell phones (now our only phones!) and the groceries, in addition to kiddie activities. Well, just saving it seemed like a nice idea, and I am sure that I am going to work on that. But I was so impressed by Crystal's ability to put her trust in the Lord and actually achieve her family's financial goal (see her post at http://www.moneysavingmom.com/) that I determined I wanted to work on being that kind of blessing for my husband and family too. I think the best way I can do this is to save money and present my husband with a sizeable (if not all) portion of the money to pay off our Home Equity Line of Credit we got when we were a little more naive about our finances. This is going to be a pretty lofty goal for me, as I grew up in a home where "entitlement" was practiced, if not named, and I have always had a hard time with money because of that. However, I think that being able to pull this off will be such a wonderful surprise for my husband (so shhhhhh!).
So to start working toward this goal, I'm going to attempt to participate in the Eat from the Pantry challenge (http://www.moneysavingmom.com/money_saving_mom/2009/12/eat-from-the-pantry-challenge-my-goals-and-plans-and-come-link-up-yours-too.html). Our family ran low on some paper and cleaning products, so we'll need to run to the store for things like toothpaste, dish soap and laundry detergent. But I am going to try to use sales and coupons for those things, or make what I can from scratch with what I have on hand. Then we will limit our other purchases to milk, eggs and maybe some fresh fruits and veggies for the remainder of the month. Not that we always eat from a box or anything, but we have quite a bunch of stuff in the cupboard and in the freezer that should be eaten anyway, and poor and lazy planning often causes me to stop at the store for "one more thing" to make a meal, when a substitute or some creativity would have saved us money too. And -- this will also give me a chance to empty the cupboards of some of the things my kiddies love that might not be the healthiest and re-stock in the future with fresh foods.
I am really very excited and can't wait to see how the menu comes together for the rest of the month! I hope some of you will share your ideas for meals using what you have on hand! And in preparation for future meals, I am looking into Once a Month Cooking too, so if you have any recipes that are tried and true, please share those too! My family of 8 eats just about anything -- I am the pickiest and since I am the chef that usually doesn't work out too bad!! I will let you know how much money I squeeze into a savings account at the end of the month!